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Footlight Notes Collection Picture Archive - request for use of images

no. 421

Saturday, 8 October 2005

Ziegfeld Follies of 1910,
Jardin de Paris, New York, 20 June 1910,
and then on tour in the United States from mid September 1910

Lillian Lorraine and chorus in the song, 'Swing Me High, Swing Me Low'

Swing me high, swing me low, dearie,
While Summer breezes blow,
I'm sure I'd never grow weary
As up and down I go.

Lillian Lorraine and chorus in the song, 'Swing Me High, Swing Me Low',
lyrics by Ballard Macdonald and music by Victor Hollaender,
in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1910, Jardin de Paris, New York, 20 June 1910

(photo: White, New York, 1910)

'The only new material this week is another of those spectacular novelties which Florenz Ziegfeld, jr., has been annually staging on the roof of the New York Theater - The Follies of 1910, to wit, which opened on Monday night. The piece is pretty much on the lines of everything burlesquable that has been seen in previous shows. The singing in the main is anything but gratifying to the cultured ear, and the music is of the usual trite Broadway quality. A pleasing feature is a swinging chorus, led by Lillian Lorraine, in which a lot of pretty chorus girls swing out over the heads of the audience, and another feature that scored was the singing of "Lovey Joe" by Fannie Brice, who is a new coon singer that reminds the Broadwayites somewhat of Maud Raymond at her best. Bert Williams, the colored comedian, is also in the cast. Incidentally, Williams is one of the most popular comedians in New York, but when it was announced that he was to be in the cast, there was a merry uproar among the "artists" of the Follies, and they made their protest so effective that he had to be given a special part, that in a way differentiates him from the rest of the company. Other members of the Follies company are Bickel and Watson, Grace Tyson, Billy Reeves, Alice Hegeman, and Louise Alexander. The words are by Harry B. Smith, the music by Gus Edwards and others.
(The Washington Post, Washington, DC, Sunday, 26 June 1910, Magazine Section, p.3f)

'A New York critic calls Lillian Lorraine, of the Follies of 1910, the most pulchritudinous incompetent that ever left an audience cold. Is this blarney or brutality?'
(The Washington Post, Washington, DC, Sunday, 26 June 1910, Magazine Section, p.3c)

Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice (1891-1951), American comedienne

(photo: unknown, probably New York, circa 1912)

The Nixon Theatre, Pittsburgh, week beginning Monday, 14 November 1910.
'At the Nixon Theatre beginning tomorrow evening and continuing throughout the week. F. Ziegfeld, Jr., will present his latest and most elaborate revue The Follies of 1910. The revue of this season is in three acts and thirteen brilliantly illuminated scenes. Harry B. Smith supplied the book while Gus Edwards and many others composed the tuneful music. The work was staged by Julian Mitchell under the personal supervision of F. Ziegfeld, Jr., who promises an endless number of amazing surprised and startling novelties, the most important of which is a musical number rendered by Miss Lillian Lorraine and eight American beauties entitled "Swing Me High, Swing Me Low" in which Miss Lorraine swings over the heads of the audience while singing the song. Bickel and Watson's Roosevelt Band, is also said to be a highly diverting novelty, while Bert Williams, the celebrated colored comedian and singer never fails to please. Among the numerous and interesting stage pictures will be observed. "A View of New York From the Metropolitan Tower," "Office of the Get Poor Quick Syndicate," "A Street in Reno," "Halley's Comet," posed by Miss Anna Held, "An Apple Blossom Grove," "Café del' Opera New York," "Jardin de Paris Summer and Winter Garden, New York," "A Model Hennery," "The Return of Roosevelt" and "A Dress Rehearsal of the Follies of 1910." The cast includes the names of more than 150 musical comedy players. In same will be noted such popular talent at Bickel and Watson, Bert Williams, Bobby North, William C. Shrode, Billie Reeves, W. Wania, Imperial Russian Dancer, Dudley Oatman, Peter Swift, Max Schenck, Charles Hesson, Lillian Lorraine, Fanny Brice, Shirley Kellogg, Vera Maxwell, Evelyn Carlton, Margaret Morris, Lillian St. Clair, Florence Gardner, Fanny Conway, Lottie Vernon, Arline Roley, Betty Neil, Daisy Virginia, May Hopkins, Evelyn Korner, Bessie Fennell, and seventy five Anna Held girls. Monday night for the first time Mr. Ziegfeld will introduce a skit on the famous Cavalieri-Chanler affair. Miss Lillian Lorraine will be seen as Lina, Harry Watson and Bob and George Bickel as the Count. During the engagement of the Follies there will be matinees on Wednesday and Saturday both of which will be popular prices.'
(The Charleroi Mail, Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Saturday, 12 November 1910, p.3c/d)

Harry Pilcer

Harry Pilcer (1885-1961), American dancer and choreographer

(photo: Wrather & Buys, London, circa 1915)

National Theatre, Washington, 26 December 1910.
'And then The Follies of 1910 came to town and everybody went to the National. It may be an exaggeration to say that every one went to the National yesterday, but the house was packed to capacity at both the matinee and evening performances, and many eleventh hour amusement seekers were forced to regret that there wasn't any more capacity, so why not a little hyperbole? Ziegfeld's latest revue is a superlative itself, and rather induces extravagance.
'A coherent review of the newest stoke of the purveyor of revues is next to impossible. There are three acts, sixteen scenes, 25 songs, a hundred changes of costume, a thousand laughs, a trainload of performers, and a million surprises - thereabouts, or something like it. To furnish accurate information as to the amount of the various ingredients that go to make up this spicy refreshment one ought to carry along a high-speed adding machine. This year's Follies exceeds all speed limits and makes its predecessors seem tame, with the possible exception of the original in 1907. So much of the action takes place in front of the footlights that the audience is kept constantly wondering whether or not it is a part of the show - it generally thinks it is, until it is convinced by a transfer of activities back to the stage, that it is not. That's the fun of it all - having the person in the next seat, or the next box, or just across the aisle, prove to be a regular, sure-enough actor. Makes you feel as if you belong.
'But to get back of the proscenium again. The first scene shows the play you're watching in rehearsal. Harry Watson impersonates Julian Mitchell and George Bickel travesties Maurice Levi - the rest of the principals imitate themselves, and do it remarkably well. Fanny Brice bids a gleeful farewell to a Yiddish lady in a song called "Good-Bye Becky Cohen," and Vera Maxwell explains to Watson-Mitchell why she can't wear the costume, while her mother - for the moment - in the person of Arline Boley, insists that she's glad of it. Mother has a good seat in the second row. After Mitchell and Levi have had a fine little battle, things move swiftly. We get into the private offices of "The Get-Poor-Quick Syndicate" next. Shirley Kellogg entertains Andy C., Jim Hill, John D., Hetty G., J. Pierrepont, and the rest of us who aren't trying to get any poorer than we are, with "Nix on 'the Glow-Worm,' Lena," immediately after which John D. goes to heaven through a trap door in the stage that leads to a warm, ruddy glow, as of a large fire. Then Lillian Lorraine and Harry Pilce score tremendously with "Come Along, Mandy."
'By a rapid-transit device not disclosed, we reach Reno instanter. At Reno Bert Williams and Billie Reeves burlesque the fight in which Mr. Jeffries whipped Mr. Johnson so decisively - until they got into the ring. Williams and Reeves do a really legitimate imitation of what actually happened. Just as the fight is finished, Halley's comet comes along and flirts with the earth. Then we go into a music store, where Bobby North and Bickel await the arrival of a piano. Watson brings the piano in on his back, holds it there about an hour, then takes it out, in the same place, because it is mahogany instead of birdseed maple. North and Shirley Kellogg then sing "My Yiddish Colleen," to prove that [it] is indeed a music store, and Harry Pilcer says "Don't Take a Girl Down to Coney," to tuneful music. Pilcer's acrobatic dancing is startling. Enter Fanny Brice to gather in a personal hit. Her "Lovey Joe" [recorded in 1910 by Arthur Collins (3M Mp3 file from] is worth the price of admission. So is the "Apple Blossom Grove" scene. There is a nice little lake in the grove, and every one goes in swimming - some in bathing suits and some in evening dress. The audience hopes the water is warm. Then act the first ends in a blaze of college colors, a blare of college songs, and a burst of college enthusiasm out front.
'The second act is gorgeous. Another slap is taken at the Café de l'Opera in the first scene, and a ragtime revue occurs close after the slap. The principals all score here, while they scare those present with a few dances that aren't as daring as they might be - but still some.
'This act ends with a chorus of Southern colonels, in a stage box with Shirley Kellogg, singing Dixie and Lillian Lorraine swinging out over the center of the auditorium distributing real flowers to the lilting strains of a real song, "Swing Me High, Swing Me Low."
'The third act burlesques Chantecler, the return of Roosevelt, and other things too numerous to mention.
'The Follies of 1910, in short, is a knockout. The brief outline here presented gives no idea of the flashing colors, elaborate settings, rousing music, and the cleverness of the long cast of competent players - among whom William Schrode and Evelyn Carlton are not to be overlooked - that constitute the three full hours of hilarity. There is not a lazy minute in the piece.
'Perhaps there are times when "'tis folly to be wise," but if you're wise, you'll see the Follies.'
(The Washington Post, Washington, DC, 27 December 1910, Magazine Section, p. 11e)

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